Just got a 32" LCD and Skys C*$P !!!

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by dmoggie, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. dmoggie

    dmoggie
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    Hi all this is my 2nd post, only joined the forum the other day.

    Just setup my new tv a philips 32" LCD

    Im really happy with DVD XBOX and PS2 display :thumbsup:

    Sky is Crap ! Now have read other posts so I wasnt expecting it to be too cleaver, but the picture is just to BAD.

    Im still using my old Grundig box (yes Grundig) its about 3 years old. I know I need to upgrade my reciever now, but im a bit stuck so could do with some help.

    Now my questions to thoses in the know:

    What is the best sky box to own ?

    Is Sky+ any good and worth the extra cost ?
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    One thing the DVD, Xbox and PS2 have in common, they all can output the best image quality that is possible for domestic use (with the exception of serious high end AV gear).
    SKY has to work with hundreds of channels all using mpegII compression, some channels have a high bitrate such as Five, SKY movies and SKY sports and these should compare reasonably well to DVD. Too many of the channels carried on SKY use far too much compression and unfortunatley show their faults far too easily on flat panel displays such as your LCD and Plasmas both of which appreciate a good source.

    I honestly do not know of a comprehensive comparision done in a lab with reference gear to determine how each make/model of digibox performs in terms of image quality.
    I can say hand on heart that I was and still am happy with my PACE 2200 and my SKY+ v1 but I am only viewing on televisions I have setup to suit my eyesight.
    Do you see the problem inherent in any recommendation?
    :)

    Personally I've never seen a LCD panel I thought had a good picture for viewing television and that includes the 19" Sammy I bought the other day for PC use but I am biased towards Plasma:)
    Have you tried posting the question in the LCD/Plasma forum?
     
  3. dmoggie

    dmoggie
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    hi thanks for the reply.

    That explains why the music channels are so bad.
    Just dont want to spend money and get no results.

    I have posted thread in the lcd and plasma section aswell now.

    As for LCD or Plasma? everyone to there own, but this new philips set rocks!

    cheers
     
  4. LV426

    LV426
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    The truth of it is (if it's any comfort) that a well-made flat panel actually makes a better job of display than the majority of CRTs. So much better, in fact, that the dire nature of many $ky channels (and I don't mean the material - that's another story) is shown up that much more clearly.

    Freeview (terrestrial) suffers much less from compression artefacts. And it's free.
     
  5. dmoggie

    dmoggie
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    Both of your comments explain my poor picture, but would changing the sky reciever improve this or are they all more or less the same?

    I have read that sky+ seems to make the picture worse??? how can that be?

    I have check in system set up and siginal strength is 100% but quaility moves between 50-60% does this make a huge difference?
     
  6. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Image quality is 90% a factor of bitrate and standards conversion done by each individual broadcaster on the specific platform and the other 10% is down to the way the digibox output is processed by the television itself.
    Since different digibox manufacturers use their own components to meet the spec laid down by SKY there could be minor differences in the final image produced from the same sourse across multipule digibox models/makes.
    However it is impossible to say if digibox X is better or worse than your current model since it has to be viewed on your display which is setup to suit your preferences.

    SKY+ is no different, the mpeg decoder is probably identical to the PACE 2600 digibox and varies only slightly from decoders used in other makes of digibox.
    There was a batch of SKY+ version 2's from PACE that had a hardware fault which caused some picture problems (Been corrected with a software patch), perhaps that is what you have read about.

    As long as the signal quality is above the threshold required to generate a stable image you will be fine, another 10%-20% should not make a noticeable difference but I am willing to be proved wrong on that. It should not make a difference but I've read posts elsewhere and they have claimed the percieved image has improved, perhaps with higher quality you rely less on any error correction and maybe some decoders perform better under those conditions.

    Might just be easiest to ask around and borrow a friends digibox, hook it up to your dish and compare the results:)
    You'll probably also find the signal readings slightly alter as well.
     
  7. dmoggie

    dmoggie
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    Im only using a standard scart cable. Would using a good quaility scart cable improve the picture or make things worse???
     
  8. dmoggie

    dmoggie
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    Good idea will try a few of my mates sky boxes 2nite
     
  9. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Well it won't make matters worse but unless you have a very poor scart cable now I can not see a high priced model making any obvious difference.

    Is it just compression artifacts you are seeing and are some channels obviously better than others?
     
  10. dmoggie

    dmoggie
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    Not to sure on the techinical terms as its all new to me.
    Yes some channels are better than other, but certain programs on the poor channels are quite good.

    Alot of adverts are also very good !

    Athough all could do with improvement.
     
  11. Starburst

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    It does sound like you are seeing the results of low bitrates used by far too many digital broadcasters in the UK, it is funny how adverts are often much better than the programming, it shows who are more important to the channels !
    Some televisions are able to cope with these problems better than others and I am afraid as the screen size increases along with the digital video processing required for flat panels then problems invisible on a 28" CRT become visible.
    That is why the DVD and Xbox sources still look good as they are a higher standard image wise to begin with.
     
  12. HMHB

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    It may also be that some of the worse programs are the older ones ? Remember channels such as UK Gold show a lot of programs recorded 20 years or so ago and can look comparatively poor even on a CRT.
     
  13. LV426

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    The main problem with $ky channels is, as explained above, the data compression used in the broadcast. No amount of tweaking, using different boxes or cables, will cure that. $ky simply cram too much material into too small an amount of broadcast space. In fact, better cables may only serve to show up these artefacts to an even greater degree.

    $ky relies on people who

    - have cr@p, badly adjusted TVs
    - use cheap cables
    - wouldn't actually know a good picture if it bit them on the face

    which accounts for 78.34% of $ky's customer base.
     
  14. Starburst

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    SKY of course have no control over the majority of channels that are carried within it's subscription packages or are FTA in regards to the compression used and the resulting image quality.
    Broadcasters buy transponder capacity direct from SES or Eutelsat and it's those broadcasters who make the decisions on the bitrates used for their purchased capacity and how many channels they squeeze in.

    Can't argue with the assessment of the average SKY viewer except to say the same appies for digital cable and dtt viewers, ignorance and complacency are not confined to those with a dish on the wall:)
    I am always amazed when I read a post that indicates the RF is the primary connection method to the TV for a digital STB:(
     

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